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Fire safety

We are responsible for fire safety in the communal areas of our properties and are committed to providing residents with information about the fire prevention actions taken to ensure their safety. This includes:

  • completing and reviewing fire risk assessments in each block to identify risks and monitor them until they are resolved
  • regular estate inspections to identify housekeeping issues and ensure communal areas are kept clear of combustible items
  • installing, testing and maintaining fire detection and protection systems 
  • working with the London Fire Brigade and endorsing their free home safety visits to all residents. A joint fire safety partnership board meets quarterly to discuss progress in implementing fire safety precautions to keep our estates safe.

When you sign your tenancy agreement (PDF) we will give you information about the fire strategy for your block and the fire safety features of your property, including the location of your fire detectors and how to test them.

An FRA is an inspection of a building’s fire safety on that day only. Our high-rise housing blocks (over 18 meters) are reviewed yearly by qualified assessors. Caretakers also regularly check for potential fire risks and visiting council staff are vigilant.

FRAs evaluate the risk of fire, taking into account existing safety measures, and determine whether additional measures are necessary. We carry out assessments on all communal areas of our buildings.

The inspection of the building is non-destructive, considers the arrangements for escape and includes an examination of a sample number of flat entrance doors and fire detection (such as smoke alarms). However, an FRA does not include individual flats. View more information on fire safety within your home (PDF)

Our fire risk assessors have an understanding of fire safety legislation and suitable experience advising on fire and safety issues.

If additional fire precautions are necessary, these are set out in an action plan.

FRAs are carried out over a four-year cycle, depending on the risk priority. View a blank FRA (XLS).

High priority buildings include:

  • high-rise blocks that are six stories or more
  • sheltered housing
  • community halls
  • converted non-purpose-built premises.

These all have an annual FRA and are given recommendations and actions to fix any potential risks. We have decided to publish these assessments and will update this page with them soon.  

We have not reported on any issues that have already been solved, but this doesn’t mean monitoring or fire prevention actions are not being taken. 

Medium risk premises include:

Purpose-built medium-rise housing blocks with between four and five stories, with common parts. These premises have an FRA on no less than a three-year cycle with a third being undertaken annually.

Low risk premises include:

Purpose-built flats with between one and three stories. These premises have an FRA refreshed on no less than a four-year cycle with a quarter being undertaken annually.

To prevent fires, we have adopted a zero-tolerance policy for storing items within communal areas of general needs blocks. This will reduce fuel for a fire and ensure escape routes are free from obstruction.

The Neighbourhood team and Caretaking Services carry out regular inspections of our blocks. During inspection, we note any items in the communal areas and ask for them to be removed. If you are not at home, a notice will be left asking you to remove them.

If we cannot find an item’s owner, a notice will be displayed next to or on the item. You have seven days after our visit to remove the item before it is collected and taken to storage or disposed of.

Fire doors, including the door frame, are one of the most important fire precautions. They protect escape routes from the effects of fire so that occupants can reach the exit, and limit the spread of fire.

To fulfil their function, fire doors should have a self-closing device, cold smoke seals and intumescent strips that expand with heat and fill the gap between the door and the frame, to prevent smoke from exiting. Any glass should also be fire-resistant. The door and frame set must have a minimum fire resistance of 30 minutes (known as a FD30s fire door).

Fire doors and frames are required within the communal parts of blocks of flats in the following locations

  • flat entrances
  • staircases
  • cross corridor partitions
  • storerooms, plant rooms, service ducts, and electrical intake cupboards
  • bin chute rooms
  • external fire escapes (except the top storey door)
  • doors between basement accommodation and upper floors

All new fire door sets to flats must be to FD30s standard and sourced from third party certified door manufacturers. Doors must also be fitted by certified third party installers. Products and services from third party suppliers and installers are quality assured and regularly checked to ensure high industry standards.  

We are working to ensure that all high and medium-rise blocks of flats have emergency lighting installed over the next two years. As an interim measure, photoluminescence systems have been placed within all high-rise blocks.

We will also ensure that all high-rise buildings have dry risers fitted and tested at required frequencies.

In flats, regardless of the date of construction, there should be an adequate number of smoke alarms. We are working to confirm that functioning smoke detectors are in place within our tenanted flats and that they are replaced every ten years.

Communal areas must be free from rubbish and items such as mobility scooters, push bikes and prams should be stored within your flat or the pram stores provided.  

Residents must not store contained gases (this includes BBQ gas such as Calor gas). You may store oxygen for medical gases but you must inform your Housing Officer, who will ensure the information is passed to the London Fire Brigade.

A strict no smoking policy is in force in all our communal areas.

Ensure fire doors are not tampered with and security gates are not fitted

The proper use of fire doors is crucial to ensuring safety in your home. Never prop open a fire door, as they should remain closed at all times, and never remove the self-closing device on the door. If you see a fire door in disrepair, report it to us immediately on 0208 379 1000. 

Security gates are not permitted across front doors in the common parts of our blocks, as they present a danger to residents and firefighters. If gates are discovered, our Housing Operations team will see that they are removed.

For more information on fire doors, visit the London Fire Brigade.

Test your smoke alarms

You should test your smoke alarms every month. To do this, press the ‘test’ button on the alarm. If your alarms do not work when you press the test button, or it starts to beep once every 30 seconds, then there is a fault. Report this to the Customer Services team on 0800 379 1000.

Each year we will arrange for a contractor to test and maintain your alarms. Please keep your appointment to ensure that your alarms continue to work and keep you safe.

The London Fire Brigade can visit you at home to offer advice on how to make your home safe. They will normally fit you a smoke alarm for free.

For more information on smoke alarms or home visits, visit the London Fire Brigade.

More information on how you can keep your home safe can be found below:

It is important that everyone is aware of what to do in the event of a fire. Fire Action notices are normally located near the ground floor entrance and tell you what to do if there is a fire in your building. Make sure you read the notice and understand the instructions. Inform your housing officer if you have any difficulty following the instructions or have any questions.

For more information on fire strategies, visit the London Fire Brigade.

Purpose-built flats

Our purpose-built blocks of flats were designed to contain and prevent the spread of fire. A self-contained, purpose-built flat or maisonette will typically give you between 30 and 60 minutes protection from fire. 

You should stay inside your home if there is a fire in another part of your building and you are not affected by the heat or smoke. Call 999 if you are worried or concerned. If you are in the communal areas of the building, leave and call 999.

You should evacuate if there is a fire in your property. Warn all the people you live with and close all doors behind you. If there is a lot of smoke, crawl along the floor where the air will be clearer. Always use the stairs, rather than the lift, and make your way out of the building. Call 999 from any phone as soon as it is safe to do so.

Converted properties

If you live in a converted property, then you should evacuate if there is a fire in another part of the building or inside your flat.